Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
New York Times best-selling author and television screenwriter and producer Martin continues his fantasy epic of the mythic Seven Kingdoms in this fourth installment of "A Song of Fire and Ice." The War of the Five Kings is winding down and there's a lull in the action, as many surviving characters from earlier installments are absent. Tony Award-winning British actor Roy Dotrice provides a clear and engaging narration of this tale of power, politics, and people. Feast has a sense of bleakness and disjointedness, with slow-moving plotlines. VERDICT Of interest to fans of fantasy, adventure, and the HBO series. ["A must-purchase for libraries owning the series, this panoramic fantasy adventure is highly recommended," read the review of the Spectra: Bantam hc, LJ 11/15/05.-Ed.]-Denise A. Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Long-awaited doesn't begin to describe this fourth installment in bestseller Martin's staggeringly epic Song of Ice and Fire. Speculation has run rampant since the previous entry, A Storm of Swords, appeared in 2000, and Feast teases at the important questions but offers few solid answers. As the book begins, Brienne of Tarth is looking for Lady Catelyn's daughters, Queen Cersei is losing her mind and Arya Stark is training with the Faceless Men of Braavos; all three wind up in cliffhangers that would do justice to any soap opera. Meanwhile, other familiar faces-notably Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen-are glaringly absent though promised to return in book five. Martin's Web site explains that Feast and the forthcoming A Dance of Dragons were written as one book and split after they grew too big for one volume, and it shows. This is not Act I Scene 4 but Act II Scene 1, laying groundwork more than advancing the plot, and it sorely misses its other half. The slim pickings here are tasty, but in no way satisfying. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
The crow is the traditional scavenger bird of the medieval battlefield, and this fourth volume of Martin's monumental Song of Ice and Fire is appropriately named. King Robert is dead. His widow, Ceris, occupies the Iron Throne, surrounded but not supported by her relatives. Outlaw leader Robb Stark is also dead, and what he has left behind aren't kindred noblemen and -women but warlords and bandit chiefs, all squabbling over the pieces of the Seven Kingdoms that they anticipate grasping. Martin confesses that he could not find room to continue all the characters of the preceding series entries-- A Game of Thrones0 (1996), A Clash of Kings0 (1999), and A Storm of Swords0 (2000)--and that those neglected here will be seen next year in A Dance with Dragons0 . Martin's command of English and of characterization and setting remains equal to the task of the fantasy megasaga, which is good because Martin's Song is starting to rival the page count of Robert Jordan's 12-volume Wheel of Time. Good news for readers of robust appetite. --Roland Green Copyright 2005 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A Dance with Dragons runs concurrently and features characters and locations barely mentioned here. The action picks up directly following the events of A Storm of Swords (2000). The setting resembles a Medieval Europe where magic works, and every petty monarch nurses ambitions of empire--and behaves accordingly. Narrative complexity is an end in itself, with the plot unfolding from a dozen different points of view. Some of the highlights: In King's Landing, following the murder of young King Joffrey Baratheon, Joffrey's eight-year-old brother Tommen now rules, although the real power is his scheming mother, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. Having successfully intrigued her way to power, however, Cersei proves a less than effective ruler, drinking heavily, surrounding herself with sycophants and becoming estranged from her brother and former lover Jaime. Another brother, Tyrion the dwarf, who apparently murdered both their father Tywin and Joffrey, has escaped the dungeons and vanished. In the Iron Islands, the priest Aeron Damphair calls a Kingsmoot to elect a successor to King Balon Greyjoy; Damphair's brother, Euron Greyjoy, ignites the Islanders' perennial dreams of conquest by claiming that he can control dragons. Sword-maid Brienne of Tarth pursues her quest to find the missing Sansa Stark, while Arya Stark arrives in Braavos and drifts to the House of Black and White, a temple dedicated to the Faceless Men assassin cult. One of Martin's real innovations is his willingness to kill off important characters--but don't worry, with a cast of thousands, there are always thousands more. The best characters are carefully nuanced, though too many others blend into the backdrop, so the near 60-page-long who's who is little help in sorting them out; still others indulge in long, intricate, mannered conversations that serve to advance the plot--if you have the faintest clue what's going on in the first place. Another full-immersion experience and, once again, strictly for addicts.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.